If you’ve not visited in a while, you may not recognise Ringwood. There’s a lot that’s new and ready to explore.
Since the mid-2010s a lot of money has been spent redeveloping Ringwood (about a billion dollars, according to some sources), and many people are taking notice. This thriving community is just a minute’s drive off EastLink and only 10 minutes from the village vibe of Warrandyte. And, apart from anything else, it’s part of Australia’s gastronomic history: the Pride of Ringwood is a variety of hops used in VB and Fosters, while our supplies of Cherry Ripes, Freddo Frogs and other choccies come from the local Cadburys factory.
Before you tuck into sweets though, head to The Firehouse Ringwood. At lunch and dinner, it serves Mediterranean-style dishes in the old fire station that’s been converted into a stylish eatery. On the weekend, there’s breakfast as well.
The newly refurbished Eastland small has everything a dedicated shopper could wish for, including Myer, David Jones and H&M. It, as well as the area around the Ringwood Town Square and train station, has become a magnet for hip eateries. Feast on Melbourne’s best pizza at Johnny Di Francesco’s 400 Gradi East, tuck into American-style burgers at Huxtaburger, and get excited about the Mexican street food on offer at Paco’s Tacos.
On a sunny day head to the rooftop garden at The Cellar Door by The Public Brewery. This cool-as, three-storey venue offers beers from the Croyden brewery and seasonal dining fare, as well a range of Yarra Valley wines and Australian spirits.
Like many of the new developments here, Aquanation is a star attraction. At this fitness and aquatic centre, you might swim a few laps then relax in the steam room or you could — and should — slip down the thrilling water slides and splash in the aquatics playground.